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Friday, Feb 21st

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First Iowa results show Buttigieg, Sanders ahead

First Iowa results show Sanders, Butteigeig aheadEarly and incomplete results from Iowa’s Democratic caucuses showed former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg narrowly leading Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a triumphant edge for two outsider candidates that was overshadowed by technical errors that delayed the vote count for almost a day.

The first batch of results, which accounted for 62 percent of the approximately 1,700 precincts across the state, showed Buttigieg leading with 26.9 percent of the delegates who will eventually be elected to the national convention. Sanders was running second, with 25 percent of the so-called delegate shares.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had taken 18 percent of the vote, while former Vice President Joe Biden lagged in fourth place with just under 16 percent.

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DOJ tells Supreme Court that subpoenas for Trump's finances are unconstitutional

Trump finance probe unconstitutional: DOJ to SCOTUSThe Department of Justice is arguing in filings to the Supreme Court that the multiple subpoenas for President Trump's financial records are unconstitutional.

The solicitor general's office is siding with the president in his appeal of lower court rulings upholding subpoenas issued by House committees and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

The Justice Department argued that the Constitution prohibits local law enforcement from investigating the president and that Congress must overcome high hurdles when seeking information from him.

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Iowa Democrats Blame ‘Coding Issue’ for Caucus App Disaster

Iowa Democrats blame 'Coding' issues

The Iowa caucuses aren't over yet. A delay in the results meant the state Democratic Party did not call the race Monday night as expected, leaving the candidates and their supporters in limbo.

State party officials said Tuesday morning they are certain "the underlying data" collected at caucus sites is sound but that an issue arose in reporting that data. Results are expected later Tuesday. Chair Troy Price said though the app was recording data accurately, "it was reporting out only partial data" because of a "coding issue in the reporting system."

NPR's Miles Parks previously reported on concerns over the new use of a smartphone app for reporting results.

As campaigns and caucusgoers anxiously awaited results last night, Price had said the party is "manually verifying all precinct results" and expects to have numbers sometime Tuesday.

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DOJ reveals 24 redacted emails related to Trump's involvement in Ukraine aid freeze

DOJ releases emails dealing with UkraineDepartment of Justice reportedly said in a court filing just hours after the Senate voted against subpoenaing additional witnesses and documents in President Trump's impeachment trial that it has two dozen emails related to his involvement in the halt of U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

An Office of Management and Budget (OMB) lawyer said in the filing that the emails are protected by “presidential privilege,” The Washington Post reported.

“Specifically, the documents in this category are emails that reflect communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine,” the OMB lawyer said in arguing that the emails should remain redacted.

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Trump administration acknowledges emails show Trump's thinking on Ukraine aid at center of impeachment

Trump blocks emails from OMBThe Trump administration is blocking two dozen documents containing emails on President Donald Trump's involvement in the decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine, the government said in court filings.

Justice Department and Office of Management and Budget attorneys acknowledged in the late Friday night filings the existence of emails explaining the president's thinking about withholding about $400 million in Ukraine aid. Hours earlier, the Senate voted largely along party lines to not call witnesses in the impeachment trial. A final vote on whether or not to acquit Trump is expected Wednesday.

"Specifically, the documents ... are emails that reflect communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine," Heather Walsh, deputy general counsel for the Office of Management and Budget, wrote.

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New Emails Show How Trump Angered NOAA Weather Officials Over ‘Doctored’ Hurricane Dorian Map

Emails show how Trump angered weather bureau

Top scientists and officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) privately criticized President Donald Trump’s altered map of the track of Hurricane Dorian to include Alabama, according to emails obtained by the Washington Post through the Freedom of Information Act.

In one email exchange, Cory Pieper, social media director at the NWS, alerted the public affairs office that the president “doctored” the image he showed on national television. Susan Buchanan, the director of the office, replied, “Are you sure they were doctored?” Pieper wrote back, “Yes, that was doctored.”

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John Kelly: With no witnesses, Senate impeachment trial is 'a job only half done'

John Kelly: Trial with no witnesses is half a trialFormer White House chief of staff John Kelly said Friday if there are no witness testimonies in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump that it is considered "a job only half done."

"If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, 'If you don't respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it's a job only half done,'" Kelly told NJ Advance Media in an interview published Friday. "You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities."
TVNL Comment: It's over.  It's half a trial, if that much.  The GOP has spoken: no witnesses, no documents.  No democracy, either.

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